DID you realise that Majorca can take some credit in one of Britain's gold medals in the Olympic Games in Athens? Sailor Ben Ainslie spent long periods of time training in Balearic waters before heading for Greece. More curious still is that a Majorcan won silver in the same race. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. British Sport has recently spent a sizeable part of its well deserved National Lottery money on building a new swimming centre in Cyprus. It was opened just before the start of the Olympics. I am convinced that this new multi-million pound centre could easily have been built here if the necessary lobbying had been forthcoming from the local authorities. Majorca is far better communicated with Britain than Cyprus. The fact that the U.S. swimming team were in Majorca doing pre-Olympic training shows that the island could have a real future as a major sporting training ground. But unfortunately what we need is a bit of imagination and forward thinking which, I am afraid to say, is rather missing in the Balearics at the moment. Calvia's plan to name a street after Jonny Wilkinson, who spent a considerable amount of time training on the island before going to the Rugby World Cup, was a great idea. Unfortunately, the plan appears to have stalled. But they were thinking on the right lines. The Balearics has plenty of official sports departments but they are more concerned with domestic issues rather than looking abroad. The promotion department of the local government spends millions on promoting what we all know that Majorca has got, great beaches and the weather. But with some thought new avenues could be opened up which would give the islands great prestige as well as promotion.
As a footnote there were literally hundreds of British tourists at Son Moix on Sunday for Real Mallorca's clash against Real Madrid. Beckham and Owen were working their magic. I know it's wishful thinking but can you imagine all the publicity and promotion the island would have received if Mallorca had used just part of the money they got from the sale of striker Eto'o on bringing Owen to Son Moix?